As Jewish communities in Israel and around the world mourn for the three members of the Solomon family slain Friday in Halamish, one 18-yearold is taking initiative to send support and love to the family.Jacob Katz, from South Florida, could not imagine dealing with the tragedy in any other way. He started a GoFundMe page for the Solomon family so that he and others could help in whatever way they could.“I was davening Shaharit [the Morning Prayer, on Shabbat] and I couldn’t get over how terrible it was. How am I sitting here so comfortably and I can’t do anything about it?” said Katz. “There’s so much that I can give to them.”Since opening the page on Sunday, he has raised almost $30,000 of his $36,000 goal.
He said he is grateful to see so many people giving whatever they can for the family.“It’s incredible how people are responding. This is what it means to be a Jew: We care for each other,” said Katz. “We’re too small not to. We don’t have the luxury to forget about each other. That’s what it’s all about, that’s the whole point of being a people and a nation.”Katz is working with OneFamily, an organization that provides financial and emotional support to victims of terrorism and their families. They will help the Solomons allocate the funds sustainably. He said everything is coming together so fast, and that he is only the catalyst of it all. “Everyone knew it needed to happen,” said Katz. “If I hadn’t done it, someone else would have. We’re so connected to each other, without even knowing each other.”Katz spent the past year at Orayta, a yeshiva in Jerusalem, and will be returning to Israel next year to join the IDF. Before enlisting he will study at the Eli Pre-Military Academy, near Halamish, and hopes to visit the Solomon family.The yeshiva student asks for anyone who is unable to give money to email him through the GoFundMe page with a kind message for the family so he can present them with everyone’s messages in a booklet.For Katz, this event reminded him that while Israel faces the possibility of terrorist attacks at any moment, its people are united, and respond as though the victims were their members of their own families.“Please God, let this never happen again, and please God, let’s be ready when it does,” said Katz. And for next time: “We should have 10 people starting GoFundMe pages and competing with each other.”To donate to the campaign, visit: www.gofundme.com/thesalomonsofhalamish
Three Israelis were killed in a stabbing attack in Halamish, July 21, 2017 (Reuters)